Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland has been ranked No. 23 in the Peace Corps' annual list of the 25 top volunteer-producing colleges in the large school category—with 38 alumni currently serving as volunteers worldwide.
Since the Peace Corps' inception 1961, nearly 1,170 UMD graduates have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers.
"Maryland challenged me to be both socially aware as well as willing to act on behalf of others. Furthermore, I realized that my course work provided me with a solid foundation on which to base my Peace Corps projects off of," says UMD alumnus Patrick Williams '11. "I would only recommend Peace Corps to seniors interested in forging their own path after university. Sure, we have specific goals, but a lot of our work and projects are self-directed and require a lot of patience, flexibility, and an appetite for adventure. That being said, you can combine any number of interests, hobbies, and experiences in order to make a difference."
Williams extended his Peace Corps service in Burkina Faso to monitor and evaluate the projects of health and education volunteers. For his first two years of service, Williams worked as a health volunteer and organized a youth development camp.
"College Park allowed me to have a stepping stone into international development with great professors who had experiences abroad that made the classes more intriguing and useful," says UMD alumna Michelle Jiyun Kim '09. "The Peace Corps has been an amazing experience and has cultivated who I am today. Two years being abroad and being immersed in a different culture has allowed me to find myself more and understand different cultures."
Kim is a community development volunteer in Thailand, who is working on youth development projects, teacher trainings and an HIV prevention manual.
"The same passion that launched the Peace Corps more than 50 years ago fuels progress in developing countries today thanks to the leadership and creativity that college graduates bring to their Peace Corps service," Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. "The unique Peace Corps experience helps recent graduates cultivate highly sought-after skills that will launch their careers in today's global economy."
The full list of colleges and universities on the Peace Corps' Top College list is available here.
UMD will be hosting an event on the Peace Corps experience on March 5, 2014 at 7 p.m. in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation Auditorium. More information is available here.
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